We began our journey from Colter Bay well before the sun began to rise. We were traveling to Driggs, Idaho and leaving behind our warm cabin bed in the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. The experience ahead of us was very special and unique. We were looking forward to every second.
The Teton Balloon Flight Company is easy to book with, super friendly and made our first flight in a hot air balloon incredibly special.
Arriving at sunrise, we were told that we had to wait to see if the winds died down before we could venture into the sky.
In the meantime, we watched the team preparing to set up the balloon. Not long after, we received the okay with a warning that it might be a “bumpy landing.”
Just after sunrise, we all climbed into the basket and up we went.
The entire ride was beautiful (even with the fogginess from the smoke), and the pilot was very friendly and knowledgeable of the area. He explained some of the histories of the Grand Teton Mountains, including how they received their name and stories of the local legends. He answered all of our questions and had a great sense of humor. We did not get to see much wildlife on our trip. We were either too high above to see or the only thing below us was cows.
When it was time for our landing, the pilot explained that hot air balloons do not land but rather crash back to earth. Ours was certainly more of a crash than a landing. Before we landed, the pilot explained the proper stance of landing under rough circumstances to avoid injuries. He suspected that the winds were going to pick up again and sure enough, just before the basket touched the ground, a big gust of wind grabbed the balloon and started dragging it through a field of wheat. In spite of the rough landing, which we all thoroughly enjoyed, the only injury that occurred was that to the field.
After climbing out of the basket, the company provided us with champagne as has been a tradition since one of the first hot air balloon flights. They also offer water and orange juice as a substitute.
Reservations are required in an advance. Weather does play a significant role so we recommend having a backup day just in case the weather does not permit flight on your scheduled day.
Overall, this was a fantastic adventure and we look forward to our next hot air balloon flight.